Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1

- Werner Froehlich -- bass
- Benj Jäger -- vocals

- Cosimo Lampis -- drums
- Vittorio Vergeat (aka Vittorio Vergat) -- guitars



- Blue (Vittorio Vergeat)

- Brainticket (Werner Froehlich and Cosimo Lampis)

- Hawkwind (Vittorio Vergeat)

- Island (Benj Jäger)

- Les Sautterlles (Wemer Froelich)

- Vic Vea Band (Vittorio Vergeat)





Genre: progressive

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Toad

Company: Bellaphone

Catalog: BLPS 19047

Year: 1971

Country/State: Switzerland, Germany, Italy

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: German pressing with gatefold sleeve, minor corner wear

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: $200.00 SOLD



Okay, I'll admit I bought this one for the fascinatingly ugly cover ...


Bands with an international membership have never been a big deal in Europe with the little known Toad serving as a fairly typical example.  Bassist Werner Froehlich was German having briefly played in the Swiss band Les Sauterelles.  Drummer Cosimo Lampis and then 17 year old lead guitarist Vittorio Vergeat were both Italian.  Both Froelich and Lampis had previously been members of Brainticket splitting off when the group relocated to Switzerland.  Vergeat had been Hawkwind's original guitarist, but tendered his notice after getting into creative and personal differences Hawkwind front man David Brock.  


The three apparently met in Switzerland where an impromptu jam session led them to decide on a full scale collaboration.  Signed by the Swiss Hallelujah label, they debuted with a 1970 single - 'Stay' b/w 'Animal World' (Hallelujah catalog number YZ 383).  The single briefly charted in Switzerland and other European countries which lead Hallelujah to finance a follow-up album.  The trio also decided to add lead singer Benj Jäger to the line up.  


Recorded in London with Chris Schwegler producing, 1971's "Toad" wasn't half bad in a pseudo-Cream blues-rock fashion.  In spite of his heavily accented vocals Jäger was a capable hard rock singer whose strained and raspy delivery reminded me of a young (and Swiss) Rod Stewart.  The same comments were true for the seven group originals that graced the album.  Propelled by Vergeat's excellent Hendrix-inspired guitar and a solid rhythm section in Froehlich and Lampis, extended largely instrumental material like 'Tank', 'Life Goes On' and 'Pig's Walk' was never less than entertaining, though it wasn't particularly original, or even commercial.  In fact the only real misstep was the band's one nod to commercialism - the bland acoustic ballad 'The One I Mean'.  Still, these guys managed to occasionally generate quite a bit of momentum and I'd rather hear this over any mid-1980s AOR album ...  


"Toad" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Cotton Wood Hill   (Werner Froehlich - Benj Jäger - Cosimo Lampis - Vittorio Vergeat) - 8:05

2.) A Life That Ain't Worth Living  ( Werner Froehlich - Benj Jäger - Cosimo Lampis - Vittorio Vergeat) - 3:26

3.) Tank  ( Werner Froehlich - Benj Jäger - Cosimo Lampis - Vittorio Vergeat) - 3:22

4.) They Say I'm Mad  ( Werner Froehlich - Benj Jäger - Cosimo Lampis - Vittorio Vergeat) - 6:40

(side 2)
1.) Life Goes On  ( Werner Froehlich - Benj Jäger - Cosimo Lampis - Vittorio Vergeat) - 11:48

2.) Pig's Walk  ( Werner Froehlich - Benj Jäger - Cosimo Lampis - Vittorio Vergeat) - 7:19

3.) The One I Mean  ( Werner Froehlich - Benj Jäger - Cosimo Lampis - Vittorio Vergeat) - 2:28



Shortly after the album was released the band reverted to their original instrumental trio line up.  Jäger reappeared as a member of the short-lived Swiss band Island.


Vergeat reappeared as frontman for the Vic Vea Band.  He has an interesting website at: